Linux provides the $PATH environment variable in order to store the paths or location of the binaries or executables. When a command or executable is called from the shell or application the $PATH environment variable is used to look up the locations. The $PATH variable stores multiple locations which are inspected for the specified command or script.
$PATH Environment Variable
The $PATH is an environment variable whic can be accessed for different shells, programs, scripts etc. The $PATH variable can be in different locations like ~/.bashrc , /etc/login.defs etc. But the most appropriate location is the users home directory .bashrc file.
Get/Display $PATH Environment Variable
The $PATH variable can be listed in different ways. But the most popular, easy and practical way to display the $PATH variable is printing it in the bash shell or terminal. As the $PATH is an environmental variable it can be printed by using the echo command like below.
The output is very similar in most of the cases.
We can see that the paths are separeted with the : . The “/home/ismail/.local/bin” is the path related with the current user. All other paths are accessable by other users.
Add New Directory To The $PATH Variable
The $PATH environment variable contains multiple locations. When we set a single location all previous locations are lost. So in order to add a new directory or location to the $PATH variable, the new directory is added after the existing $PATH variable. In the following example, we will add the “/mnt/bin” to the existing $PATH variable. Also, the export statement is used to make the new $PATH variable available after now.
Add New Directory To The $PATH Variable Permanently
In the previous step, a new directory is added into the $PATH variable for temporarily. After the system restarted all previous $PATH definitions cleared. In order to make the $PATH variable permanent, it should be put into a configuration file like ~/.bashrc, etc like below.